Are you searching for a place that has everything that you need to live the life you have been dreaming of? Don’t search further than Vermont. Home to Phish, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, farm-o-table dining, charming towns (together with boosting the country’s largest maple syrup producer), Vermont offers so much in a small package. Despite its small size, the Green Mountain State’s population is the 2nd smallest in the country, which implies that residents still have enough space to enjoy themselves.
Voted as the healthiest state in the country, filled with amazing scenery, and offering increasing opportunities for starting a great life, Vermont presents a nice option to the crowded living in most regions of the Northeast.
However, before you move to Vermont, there are some things you need to understand and prepare. Below, we discussed eleven (11) things to know during a move to Vermont.
1. Cost of Living is Fairer than Many other Cities
To live in Burlington, Vermont, expect the median cost of living for a couple to be $3,475 per month. Best Places reported that the cost of living index in Vermont is 101.0. This index is a bit more than the national index of 100. With the use of the Family Budget Calculator from EPI, we can make a comparison of the median monthly costs in three areas in Vermont.
Our example will be a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children). Even though the costs of most categories are higher, those that relocate here can save a huge 11.5 percent on housing and 22 percent on transportation; two major expenses that added with competitive salaries in the state can make things balance out perfectly.
Let’s break down the living cost in Vermont.
- Renting against buying a home: Fortunately, renting is pretty affordable in Vermont, with a 1-bedroom apartment in the trendy city of Burlington which costs only $953 every month. That is so much lesser than the national average of $1,220. Move farther from the city and visit smaller Montpelier, and you will pay an average of just $737 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.
- Healthcare: This is important, especially for people moving with families or who already are living with medical conditions to battle with. Fortunately, health-related expenses in Vermont are around 7.7% more than the national average.
- Utilities: This includes electricity, heating, gas, cable/satellite, cooling, and other essentials for running a home. Data gathered by BestPlaces.net revealed that utility costs when compared to the national average are 17.4% higher.
- Transportation: This includes gas/diesel, and public transportation. People who often spend much on travel and transportation can save a lot, with the transportation costs at 22.1% lesser than the national average.
- Taxes: Taxes are just on the high side in Vermont. The state has the 3rd largest tax responsibility for its residents. Unlike some states, high-income earners get highly taxed than low-income earners, so if you don’t earn huge income, you probably have nothing to worry about. Property taxes are also on the high side, so ensure you consider this when you are planning your home buying budget. There is a good thing though; Vermont’s sales tax is low just at 6%. That is much lower than the national average.
- Food and Groceries: Food is essential and we can’t go without it, which makes it a major component of budgeting for a new relocation. When compared to the country’s average, grocery costs are about 6.7% higher in Vermont than the national average. Whether this means an increased cost for you or not will be based on where you currently live.
2. The Lowest Crime Rate in the Country
Are you concerned about crime in Vermont? The state has the lowest crime rate in the entire nation. Vermont’s violent crime rate is just 1.2 per 1,000 people. Unlike New York’s 3.94, California’s 4.02, Texas 4.08, and the national average of 3.8. The property crime in the state is 22.14 for every 1,000 residents. Compared to New York’s 18.25, California’s 26.58, and the national average of 27.3.
3. Closeness to Metropolitan Areas
Even though no city in Vermont has its population reaching 50,000, its closeness to some of the biggest cities in the northeastern part of the country makes it a perfect place to live. From Burlington (its biggest city), Boston is just a 3.5hour drive away, Syracuse just 4.40 hours away, and New York just 5.5 hours away. Montreal is even in proximity at just 1.40 hours away.
4. One of the Best States as Regards Education
Vermont is one of the country’s best states for education. Its mandatory education status requires that children aged between 6 and 16 are sent by their parents and guardians to a school or homeschool. The University of Vermont is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country. The school was recently ranked 18th in a list of the leading 30 public universities to enroll their students in the country’s highly prestigious business, law, and medical graduate programs by a recent survey by Wall Street Journal.
5. Getting around in Vermont
A lot of people travel by car in Vermont. In cities like Burlington, walking or even riding your bike is preferable. You can ride several bus lines in Burlington, some of which come with no cost. The public transit system in Burlington is referred to as the Green Mountain Transit (GMT). The best way to commute in Vermont is by car because of the distances between houses and shopping venues.
6. Economy and Employment Market
Vermont is ranked 29th in the country as reported by Economy Rankings by United States News & World Report. This score is based on three smaller categories: 28th in the business environment, 21st in employment, and 31st in growth. Vermont’s GDP is approximately $32.5 billion, and the average income is $32,443. Through its major industries, such as tech, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy, Vermont continues to attract people as a nice place to open a business or thrive as a business owner.
- Software Development
- Financial Services & Insurance
- Food, Beverage & Consumer Goods
- Professional & Creative Services
- Tourism & Outdoor Recreation
- Renewable Energy & Green Businesses
- Killington Resort (Killington)
- SAASS MicroTec (Waterbury)
- University of Vermont (Shelburne)
- Bruegger’s (Burlington)
- Casella Waste Systems (Rutland)
- Sugarbush Resort (Warren)
- Stratton Mountain (Stratton)
- Mack Group (Arlington)
- Northwestern Medical Center (Saint Albans)
- HUBER + SUHNER (Essex Junction)
- National Life Group (Montpelier)
- Ben & Jerry’s (South Burlington)
- State of Vermont (Montpelier)
- PC Construction (South Burlington)
- com (Burlington)
- Rutland Regional Medical Center (Rutland)
- GW Plastics (Bethel)
- Bowl New England (Colchester)
- Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (Bennington)
Burton Snowboards (Burlington)
7. Low Population Density
If you don’t like crowds and traffic congestions, then you should live and work in Vermont. Montpelier is the capital and its population is not up to 8,000 and even Burlington, which is the largest city, has below 50,000 people living there, as reported by the 2013 census. With that small population, but with modern amenities and wide roads, Vermont is the perfect place to retire and start a family.
8. There are Many Things to do in Vermont
While it is famous for great hiking, Vermont offers beyond that powdery slopes and ski lodges. Here, we’ve added our top selections for fun things to do, and see in Vermont:
- Tourist destinations: Vermont is home to many family-friendly attractions as tasty venues.
- Ben & Jerry Tour: They serve legendary, delicious ice cream and different flavors. If you like that, you should visit the factory tour in Waterbury.
- Vermont Teddy Bear Factory: Ever wondered how they make the popular teddy bears? You are fortunate. You can tour around the factory with one of the friendly Bear Ambassadors leading you.
- Cabot Creamery: We’ve discussed how Vermont is the paradise of maple syrup, but are you aware that Vermont is also a paradise to cheese lovers? Check this creamery that popularizes VT cheddar.
- Church Street Marketplace: Filled with four blocks in downtown Burlington, this outdoor mall is where you will have great shopping and dining experience.
- Ethan Allen Homestead: This is a two-century-old homestead that was occupied by the celebrated hometown hero of Burlington, who kept Vermont and helped the Continental Army.
- Food & Drink: Together with internationally recognized Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, you will also find top farm-to-table dining delights in Vermont, located in traditional, and small, local origin.
- Leading All-You-Can-Eat:Lucky Buffet located in St. Albans
- Leading Bar:Ye Olde Tavern located in Manchester
- Leading Craft Brewery:The Alchemist Brewery located in Waterbury.
- Leading Brunch:Penny Cluse Café located in Burlington
- Leading Burger:Al’s French Frys located in Burlington
- Leading Chocolate Shop:Lake Champlain Chocolates located in Burlington
- Leading Coffee Shop:Maglianero located in Burlington
- Leading Doughnuts: Murphy’s Donuts located in Manchester
- Leading Farmers Market:Burlington Farmers’ Market located in Burlington
- Leading Food Truck:Farmers and Foragers located in Burlington
- State parks: Want to go around the amazing natural beauty of Vermont? Check these famous state parks:
- Smugglers Notch State Park: Once a smuggling route on 1,000-ft cliffs, this park offers great biking, picnicking, hiking, and rock climbing. You will find it in Stowe.
- Mount Philo State Park: This state park is located in Charlotte and it offers a moderately convenient hike up Mount Philo, together with picnic tables for a laid-back meal.
- Camel’s Hump: Linked by the Long Trail, this Montpelier high (at nearly 4,100 feet) can be accessed from Mount Mansfield and it offers a great view.
- Jamaica State Park: Searching for easy hiking for every level and stage? This convenient park in Jamaica also offers fishing, camping, as well as Hamilton enjoyment.
- Quechee State Park: Many visitors visit Hartford every year to see the Quechee Gorge and make use of the spacious campsites found at this state park.
- Museums: There are many incredible museums in Vermont. Below are our top 10 choices:
- Shelburne Museum: Over 80,000 pieces of folk art and other works.
- Hildene (The Lincoln Family Home): Where Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Lincoln called home.
- The Art of Humor Gallery: Include the work of Skip Morrow, a cartoonist/artist.
- Montshire Museum of Science: It features more than 140 exhibits and is located in Norwich.
- Vermont Toy Museum: You can peruse a wide number of memorabilia, arcade games, and action figures in this museum
- Great things at Stowe Craft: This art gallery contains art and jewelry with a determination on sustainability.
- Billings Farm & Museum: Nestled under a hillside in Woodstock, this venue has an acclaimed outdoor history museum and running a dairy farm.
- Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio: Offers glasswork and watching room by Glenn Ziemke.
- Bennington Museum: This museum concentrates on art, innovation, and history from Vermont.
- Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium: Similar to a storybook castle with antiques and toys.
9. People and Culture
Those living in Vermont are famous for being friendly, helpful, and accommodating, even to newcomers moving to the state from elsewhere. There is a unique sense of home-state pride with a lot of families in the state.
10. Best Areas in Vermont to Live
If you are relocating with your family to Vermont, you should check out Shelburne since it has low crime rates, high safety scores, top-quality schools, and family-friendly things to do. Being a single person, you should check out Burlington because of the many relationship opportunities and great nightlife.
If you relocate as a couple, head to Newport because the cost of living is affordable and the general quality of life is perfect.
Are you still pondering on a move to Vermont after finding out these things? What are the other things you think older residents of Vermont need to share with newcomers to the state? Share with us in the comment section below.
If Vermont is located a long distance away from your current address, read this article to know how you can get help from a cross-country moving company.